Henry County students are learning a hard lesson in finances.
We'll have today's vote on school consolidation.
And, September 11th takes yet another toll.
Some foreign students at local schools are bracing for a blue Christmas away from home.
In sports, the Stagg bowl is just a day away, more pre game hype, two are high school football coaches leave their posts
as has newly named Notre Dame head coach George O'Leary, his resignation in sports.
Weatherwise it looks like we're going to have a super Saturday across the entire viewing area. Stay tuned for details.
News 7 is next.
[IN Q=Magna Vista is..]
((MAGNA VISTA IS IN NORTH CAROLINA.... REMOVED PLEASE.))
[OUT Q=removed, please.]
The ax falls on two Henry County High Schools, and three elementary schools.
Parents say the cuts won't go through if they can help it.
Good evening, I'm Shannon Young.
Keith is off tonight.
[GRAPHIC=Henry Co. School Consol.]
Students at Fieldale-Collinsville and Laurel Park High will likely lose their schools in the coming year, as they become middle schools.
John Reed Smith, Spencer-Penn and Fieldale Elementary Schools will be eliminated as well.
The only surprise today... Irisburg Elementary will be saved, but re-organized.
All this because of a two million dollar shortfall in next year's budget.
[***NEWS 7 @ 6 MB GRAPHIC***]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon & Jennifer /MB SET;]
Jennifer Miele was in Henry County for the vote today, where angry parents are threatening to sue. Jen.
Shannon, that's not all they're threatening.
[LIVE=JEnnifer /FULL MB GRAPHIC]
Many say they'll vote out ALL of the school board for acting too hastily in a matter that affects thousands of Henry County children.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=School Board Chairwoman]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Tyler Milner/Opposes Consolidation Plan; :13]
[SUPER=01-J. Kelly Cecil/Henry Co. School Board; :19]
[OUT Q=tabled, for now.]
(( School Board Chairwoman Katherine Wickline lost control of the meeting before it even began.
No matter how hard fellow school board members and even Henry County Sheriff Frank Cassell tried, they couldn't get it back.
((TYLER MILNER: IT'S AN ABUSE OF POWER. IT'S ABUSE OF DEMOCRACY. APPLAUSE.))
((J. KELLY CECIL: IT'S NOT MY INTENTION TO ABUSE ANYTHING MR. MILNER. WHAT WE'RE DEALING WITH ARE DOLLARS TO RUN A SCHOOL SYSTEM.))
And the school system WILL run according to the new consolidation plan beginning next year.
That was the first blow.
The second came when board member Tommy Martin motioned to keep Bassett and Magna Vista School names, colors and mascots. That was not well-recieved by students from the two high schools that will close.
For years these students were taught to raise their hands, but today that lesson didn't come in handy.
((DON'T YOU CARE? ISN'T THERE A FUND RAISER WE COULD DO TO CHANGE AT LEAST THE MASCOT?))
((DIDN'T YOU LEARN ANYTHING IN SCHOOL? WILL YOU PLEASE LET MR. MARTIN MAKE HIS STATEMENT? I'M NOT GOING TO TALK UNTIL YOU SHUT UP.))
That motioned was tabled, for now.))
[***NEWS 7 @ 6 MB GRAPHIC***]
[LIVE=Jennifer /FULL MB SET]
A lawsuit is looming.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon & Jennifer /MB Set;]
Shannon Parents said this morning they are seeking an injunction that will delay the consolidation until a new plan comes to pass.
[GRAPHIC=School Bus Accident]
State police say a Rockbridge County school bus driver faces reckless driving charges, after her school bus flipped onto its side.
Investigators say 44 year old Elise Johnson was at the wheel this morning .. when the bus left state route 7-10.
Johnson's daughter and two grandchildren were the only other people aboard. No one was seriously hurt.
A Bedford County woman will remain in jail while she awaits trial on charges of felony murder and third offense D-U-I.
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co./File Tape]
39- year- old Viki Arrington is accused of driving the wrong way on Route 460 last September when she struck and killed a motorcyclist, 37- year- old Carol Elizabeth Minton.
Witnesses testified today they saw Arrington weaving on the road before crossing into the eastbound lanes.. another said he struggled to take her keys away immediately after the accident.
Arrington's blood-alcohol content was reported to be point-3-8, more than four times the legal limit.
Her case will go to the grand jury in January.
Governor Gilmore today outlined a 36- million dollar plan to make the state less vulnerable to terrorism.
Gilmore made the announcement after receiving a confidential report from the Virginia Preparedness and Security Panel.
The Governor refused to go into specific details---citing security concerns.
Instead-- he focused on his plan to beef up security around the state.
Gilmore's proposal would provide 20- million dollars to address immediate secruity concerns.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's not a ]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE; IT'S NOT A MATTER OF SECURING EVERYTHING IN THE STATE I'VE LEARNED ENOUGH IN THIS PROCESS TO KNOW YOU CAN'T DO THAT WHAT YOU CAN DO IS A PROCESS OF TRYING TO DO THE OBVIOUS SECURITY AND PROTECTION TO MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR AN ENEMY.))
[OUT Q=for an enemy.]
Gilmore also wants to issue 16 million dollars in bonds to replace Virginia's Cold-war era emergency operations center.
Following the September 11th attacks, some college students are finding it's more difficult to travel to their native lands.
Washington and Lee University is a home away from home to more than 120 foreign students, representing nearly 50 countries.
Richard Lesko has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Agnes Flak/Washington and Lee Junior; :23]
[SUPER=01-William Klingelhofer/Director of International Education; 1:07]
[OUT Q=RL N7, Lexington.]
(( For most college students, going home for the holidays means packing up the car and getting on the road. However, following September Eleventh, international students have some hurdles to clear to visit their families overseas.
Polish-born junior Agnes Flak will travel to her home in Germany for the holidays, but is prepared to deal with increased security.
[INQ=Obviously, I'll be...]
((AGNES FLAK/WASHINGTON AND LEE JUNIOR;OBVIOUSLY I'LL BE PREPARED FOR DELAYS, AND HAVE TO PLAN EXTRA TIME FOR CHECK IN AND THINGS LIKE THAT.))
[OUTQ=and things like that]
Foreign students will face intensified background checks when applying for a student visa, and stricter guidelines, including profiling, when entering the country.
[SOT - 16:25:19]
[INQ=I don't think I fill...]
((AGNES FLAK/WASHINGTON AND LEE JUNIOR; I DON'T THINK I FILL, I DON'T FIT THE PROFILE THAT THOSE SPECIAL SECURITY DEVICES APPLY TO.))
[OUTQ=special security devices apply to.]
[SOT - 16:46:00]
[INQ=Although only a handful...]
((RICHARD LESKO/RLESKO@WDBJ7.COM;ALTHOUGH ONLY A HANDFUL OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS HAD THEIR TRAVEL PLANS DISRUPTED, THE UNIVERSITY AND THE CITY RESPONDED. PROFESSORS AND LOCAL RESIDENTS OFFERED ROOMS IN THEIR HOMES FOR STUDENTS TO STAY IN FOR THE HOLIDAYS.))
[OUTQ=for the holidays.]
In a move to reach out to the foreign students, the school is allowing them to live on school property over the break.
[SOT - 16:35:39]
[INQ=A number of students...]
((WILLIAM KLINGELHOFER/DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION; A NUMBER OF STUDENTS EXPRESSED CONCERN OVER TRAVELLING HOME. WE DON'T USUALLY LEAVE DORMS OPEN TO STUDENTS OVER THE HOLIDAY, IN THIS CASE WE THOUGHT IS WOULD CERTAINLY MAKE SENSE.))
[OUTQ=certainly make sense.]
So while some foreign students may be stuck in the United States, Washington and Lee wants to make sure they have a home in Lexington for the holidays.
Richard Lesko, News Seven, Lexington.))
Patrick Evans is having a Dickens of a time tonight.
He'll join us from downtown Roanoke to explain a little later on News 7 at Six.
And is it military tradition or religious indoctrination?
Now it's up to a federal judge to decide if V-M-I's evening prayer is Constitutional.
Lawyers for the Virginia Military Institute today defended the school's practice of having cadets pray before their evening meal.
Now a judge has to decide whether that violates the Constitutional separation of church and state.
Steve Smallshaw reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=natsot ]
[SUPER=03-Lexington/File Tape; :00]
[SUPER=01-William Hurd/VMI Attorney; :13]
[SUPER=01-Rebecca Greenberg/ACLU Attorney; :36]
[SUPER=01-Neil Mellen/VMI Cadet; 1:07]
[SUPER=01-Josiah Bunting/VMI Superintendent; 1:17]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( [natsot from Rke tape #01-15 09:58]
((OH GOD, WE ASK YOUR BLESSING ON THE CORPS..))
The prayer, V-M-I says, is part of a long-standing military tradition.. one that helps the school fulfill its role of developing future military leaders.
((WILLIAM HURD/VMI ATTORNEY: THESE CADETS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ENTER THE MESS HALL AND EVEN HEAR THIS PRAYER. AND IF THEY CHOOSE TO ENTER THEY ARE ASKED TO STAND AT REST, WHICH IS NOT A SIGN OF PARTICIPATION, IT IS AT MOST A SIGN OF RESPECT.))
[OUT Q=sign of respect.]
But two cadets, backed by the A-C-L-U, say opting out of the prayer has left them open to personal attacks.. and that a state-funded school has no business sanctioning a religious practice.
((REBECCA GREENBERG/ACLU ATTORNEY: THIS IS NOT A CASE ABOUT PRAYER. THIS IS A CASE THAT ACTUALLY SUPPORTS THE RIGHTS OF ALL CADETS TO PRAY AS THEY SEE FIT AND WHAT RAISES THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROBLEM IS THE SCHOOL.. THE STATE SCHOOL.. TELLING CADETS HOW TO PRAY AND WHEN.))
[OUT Q=pray and when.]
Both sides presented their cases in court Friday, asking the judge for an immediate decision one way or the other.
Cadet Neil Mellen was hoping this wouldn't even go to trial and had offered Superintendent Josiah Bunting a compromise, which Bunting rejected.
((NEIL MELLEN/VMI CADET: I VERY MUCH WOULD BE IN FAVOR OF A MOMENT OF SILENCE, SO THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL, IN THEIR OWN WAY, WOULD EXPRESS THEIR PERSONAL GRATITUDE AND I THINK THAT WOULD HAVE A LOT MORE SPIRITUAL VALUE.))
[OUT Q=spiritual value.]
((JOSIAH BUNTING/VMI SUPERINTENDENT: I LIKE THE IDEA OF DRAWING US TOGETHER CORPORALLY AND SPIRITUALLY, AGAIN IN A NON-SECTARIAN MANNER.))
[OUT Q=non-sectarian manner.]
Judge Norman Moon says he'll issue a ruling within a "reasonable time".
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
A veteran legislator, Virginia cabinet secretary and candidate for governor has died.
Dick Bagley represented Hampton voters in the General Assembly for twenty years.
In 1985, Bagley sought the Democratic nomination for governor... and he was later tapped by Jerry Baliles to serve as the state's first secretary of commerce.
Bagley was hospitalized with pneumonia in late October, and passed away yesterday. He was 74 years old.
Virginia's only cement producer now has a cleaner, more efficient way to package its products.
Roanoke Cement celebrated its new four point five million dollar packaging facility with a unique ribbon breaking ceremony today.
The new building features fully automated equipment, cutting the number of people needed to run the operation from seven to two.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=WITH THE UPGRADES]
((PATRICK BORDERS: WITH THE UPGRADES, WE CAN MANUFACTURE AT A LOWER COST THEN WE COULD BEFORE THE UPGRADES SO IT KEEPS US VERY COMPETITIVE IN THE MARKETPLACE.))
[SUPER=01-Patrick Borders/Marketing Manager]
[OUT Q=IN THE MARKETPLACE]
The new building replaces the company's original packing facility, which was opened in 1951 and was known for its dust emissions.
The new equipment helps control that problem with added dust filters.
The company employs 142 people at its Botetourt county plant.
A late-day round of bargain hunting gave the stock market a boost.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW gained 45 points.
NASDAQ rose seven.
For many of us, it has been difficult to get into the Christmas Spirit with the temperatures hovering near 70. But Downtown Roanoke is trying to remedy that. Tonight is the annual Dickens of a Christmas celebration and as Patrick Evans tells us, it can bring out the spirit in even the meanest Scrooge.
[SUPER=01-Matt Kennell/Downtown Roanoke, Inc.; :25]
[OUT Q=Patrick Evans, News 7]
Two Friday Football Extra coaches step down, words from former Tech offensive coordinator Rickey Bustle,
and Salem Stadium is ready to hold one of the biggest crowds in Stagg Bowl history.
The Friday Football Extra officially finishes tonight with Mike Stevens half hour awards banquet show. Today, two high schools made major changes.
News 7 sports learned this afternoon that Patrick Henry head coach Jeff Johnson is no longer with the Patriots football program. Johnson replaced Ed Scott as Patrick Henry's head coach back in 1997. Johnson had been a PH assistant since 1986 and was the head coach at old natural Bridge high school in 1985.
Heritage high school administration has informed Pem Apperson that he will no longer serve as head coach of the Pioneers.
[SUPER=04-Friday Football Extra; :00]
The decision not to renew his contract was based on administration's belief that the football program needed a new direction. Apperson was named Heritage's head football coach back in 1994 after replacing Fred Stanbery. No time table has been set for hiring a new head football coach.
[GRAPHIC=Notre Dame Football]
George O'Leary accepted the head football coaching job at Notre Dame five days ago. He has already resigned.
[SUPER=03-South Bend, IN; :00]
O'Leary has admitted falsifying his credentials both academically and athletically. O'Leary claimed he earned a masters degree at New York University but, in truth, he does not.
His resume also indicated he played football for three years at the University of New Hampshire, but he never played in a game.
The breach of trust prohibits Notre Dame from keeping him. O'Leary led Georgia Tech to five straight bowls.
Fans began standing in line this morning at 3am to gobble up the final tickets for tomorrow night's Stagg Bowl.
Mike Stevens has more on the eve of the Bridgewater-Mount Union showdown.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Salem/This Afternoon; :00]
[SUPER=01-Carey Harveycutter/Civic Facilities Director; :21]
[SUPER=01-Jim Benson/Bridgewater Adminstrative Vice-President; :53]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
(( As the final touches were put on the Salem Stadium playing surface, members of the NCAA division three football committee surveyed the scene from ground level. The end zones were painted, and the game clocks were checked, as well.
Every ticket for the game also is now gone - including the standing room only ones.
The 27 year Marine Corps veteran played at Fleming in 1960 & 61 under Dan Wooldridge.
He was instrumental in hiring Mike Clark as Bridgewater's head coach back in 1994. He's also been a valuable sounding board for school president Phillip Stone.
Benson, the players and coaches from Bridgewater and Mount Union gathered inside the Salem Civic center to break bread during the Friday Football Extra championship luncheon.
Kick off is approaching quickly. In Salem, Mike Stevens News 7 Sports.))
Speaking of bowls, former Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Rickey Bustle will call the plays the Hokies in the Gator Bowl. Yesterday, Bustle was introduced as the new head football coach of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Rickey Bustle/Lafayette New Head Football Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=.....right for them also"]
Bustle inherits a team that went 3 and 8 this past season in the Sunbelt Conference.
(///// SOT /////)
[OUT Q=...i promise you that"]
The children at Herman L. Horn Elementary in Vinton are finding a "constructive" use for their Christmas candy.
They made a three- by -four foot Gingerbread House that's a replica of the Vinton War Memorial.
The walls are actually made with graham crackers -- not gingerbread.
Each child brought in candy ... and their classes took turns decorating it.
The house took seven hours to make.
435 kids worked on the project ... and only ONE lifesaver disappeared.
The school plans to send the hosue to a local nursing home for the holidays.